A digital adaptation of Liz Lerman's
Critical Response Process

Archive: Feb 2014

  1. Introducing respond_

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    Respond_ is part of the third generation of projects funded through the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts and is a collaboration between Yorkshire Dance, Breakfast Creatives and the University of Leeds.

    Respond_ will test the use of digital technologies to widen engagement and access for dance audiences in Yorkshire. The online platform that will be developed through the project will be a digital adaptation of Liz Lerman’s renowned Critical Response Process (CRP), encouraging audiences and the wider public to become more actively engaged in the creation and interpretation of contemporary dance. The Critical Response Process has never before been adapted into a digital programme before, so this project privileges involvement in the creative process in new, innovative ways.


    What is CRP?

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    Liz Lerman is an American choreographer who developed the Critical Response Process which has been practised worldwide for over twenty years. CRP is a feedback system based on the principle that the best possible outcome from a response session is for the maker to want to go back to work. Whether returning to the studio, the desk, the kitchen, or the laboratory, CRP gives tools both to people who are making work and people who are responding to that work, and its application has successfully deepened dialogue between makers and audiences.


    An example of CRP in practice


    Liz Lerman : The Critical Response Process from arts-news on Vimeo.


    The commissions:

    Six artistic ideas proposed by dance makers have been shortlisted, details of which can be found on our project website. On 6th March 2014, we will launch a voting platform where you can vote for the two works that you would most like to see developed. Following this, you will be able to trace the development of this work throughout the project before the two most voted-for ideas are performed, at Yorkshire Dance in Leeds on 5th December 2014.


    The research question behind the project:

    Can an online programme developing Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process deepen audiences’ understanding of and engagement with dance and their empathy with artists; can it expand the audience reach of new dance works; can it benefit the creation and development process of new artworks?

    The research team will be testing the potential of digital communications technologies to enhance the audience experience and demystify the creative process.

    The project team hopes that this investigation will achieve the following:

    • Foster a culture of constructive critical exchange
    • Embrace critical enquiry – break down traditional barriers to attendance
    • Further explore the roles of context and empathy
    • Encourage co-creative business models
    • Inform audience development


    Want to find out more?

    Visit respondto.org to register your interest in the project.

    Image of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange rehearsing The Matter of Origins at the Chicago Humanities Festival courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory